Throughout the years since we have been producing Sherline tools certain questions come up over and over again. To help you make the best use of your equipment and to help the new machinist become familiar with some of the details involved in learning to become good at metalworking, we have prepared instructions on the aspects of machine adjustment and use that are often sources of puzzlement for new machinists. Our FAQ section should take care of most Frequently Asked Questions, but this section allows us to go into greater detail on the subjects that require it. We hope you find it interesting and informative.

  • Assembling the Headstock, Motor, and Speed Control
    Instructions accompanied by step-by-step photos reprinted from the Sherline Assembly and Instruction Guide that comes with each machine. For more on the motor and speed control CLICK HERE.
    For a YouTube instructional video showing the assembly of a new lathe including the headstock/motor/speed control unit CLICK HERE.
  • DC Motor Wiring
    Shows diagram of factory connections on the DC speed control board and motor wire colors for Leeson and Hill House DC motors.
  • Aligning the Lathe Headstock and Tailstock
    Taken from the Instruction Manual that comes with each lathe.
  • Gib Installation and Adjustment
    If you need to adjust or replace a worn gib, these tips will make it easy.
  • Gib Removal Tool
    A gib removal tool is included with each Sherline lathe or mill.
  • Removing Rust Preventive Coatings
    Instructions for removing the factory applied rust preventives from the raw steel parts of your new machine.
  • Saddle Nut Replacement
    The inexpensive saddle nut is made from brass so it will wear out before the steel leadscrew. Here are the steps involved in replacing one if yours wears out.
  • Preload Nut Adjustment and Pulley Adjustment
    The spindle preload can be tightened to reduce end play or loosened to keep bearings cooler when using the 10,000 RPM pulley set. Here’s how. Also, proper use of the two pulley positions is illustrated.
  • Aligning a Mill
    In order for any mill to be able to make accurate cuts, it must be properly aligned or “indicated in.” Procedures for both the 2000-series and 5000-series mills are included.
  • Lathe Assembly and Backlash Adjustment
    Simple instructions on how to unpack and assemble your new lathe, including how to adjust the anti-backlash nut.
  • Adjusting Leadscrew and Handwheel Backlash
    What is backlash and how is it adjusted? Find out here.
  • Mill Z-Axis Backlash Support Screw Installation
    A screw added to the center of the Z-axis handwheel helps support the weight of the motor/speed control to keep excess handwheel backlash from developing.
  • Installing New Motor Brushes in the DC Motor
    A few hints to make the job easy and to prevent bearing damage on older motors that don’t have the externally replaceable brushes offered since 2002
  • Lubrication
    Where to lubricate your machine and what to use. Also included is where NOT to lubricate on your 2000 mill.
  • Adding a Reversing Switch to the Speed Control
    Though it shortens brush life slightly and voids the motor warranty, some machinists and clock makers prefer a motor that can run in either direction. Here’s how to do it yourself for a few bucks in parts.
  • Straightening an Out-of-Square Motor Mount Bracket
    In June 2006 we became aware of some out-of-square cast motor mounting brackets that were shipped with machines. Here is a quick way to square up one of the brackets if you’d rather do it yourself and not deal with the time delays involved with returning it.
  • Grinding Your Own Lathe Tools
    The key to good cuts on a lathe is a properly sharpened tool. These step-by-step instructions show you how it’s done.
  • Making Your Own Gravers
    Watchmakers have long used a handheld tool called a graver to cut metal much like wood is cut on a wood lathe. Master watch and clockmaker William R. Smith tells you how to make your own and how to use them.
  • Installing Sherline Digital Readout Handwheels on Stepper Motors
    Installing stepper motors for CNC requires that any installed DRO handwheels be removed. This modification makes it possible to reinstall the DRO handwheel/encoder units on the rear shaft of a dual shaft stepper motor as a cross-check to be sure the CNC system is actually moving the amount it is supposed to be.
  • Changing the Direction of the X-axis Digital Readout
    The Sherline DRO normally reads so the plus direction is the same as the engraved scale on the side of the table; that is, plus is from left to right. To change the readout to read the way most CNC systems work; that is, with positive movement being from right to left, see this help sheet.
  • DRO Backlash Assembly
    The following are instructions for assembling your DRO handwheel on the Z-axis of your lathe. With proper assembly, you will be able to reduce the backlash in your machine to .002″ or less.
  • Installing Stepper Motor Mounts on a Lathe
    Converting your lathe to CNC? Here’s how.
  • Installing Stepper Motor Mounts on a Mill
    Converting your mill to CNC? Here’s how.
  • Removing Stepper Motors
    On occasion, you may need to remove the stepper motors from your CNC machine. Here are clear instructions on how to remove the motors and avoid some of the typical pitfalls.
  • Removing Stepper Motors and the Mill Saddle
  • Removing Stepper Motors and the Mill Saddle to Gain Access to the X-Axis Slide Nut
  • Inch vs. Metric Calibrations
    The advantages of each system and part numbers for converting a Sherline machine from one system of measurement to another.
  • Using a Rotary Table
    One of the most useful accessories for a mill, the rotary table can help you make spoked wheels, circular hole patterns, and even cut gears. These instructions will help you understand how a rotary table is used in machining.
  • Programming and Using a Sherline CNC Rotary Indexer
    Based on the Sherline rotary table, this programmable indexer can make repetitive indexing tasks easy. Learn how easy it is to program it yourself even if you know nothing about G-code or CNC programming.
  • Tips from Other Sherline Machinists
    Shop wisdom, modifications, and shortcuts to simplify your machining projects submitted by the folks who use Sherline tools.
  • A Free RPM Gauge
    Print out this PDF file, cut out the RPM gauge and glue it to your lathe or mill pulley. The flashing of 60-cycle fluorescent light causes the various rings to appear to stand still when your spindle is turning at a particular speed. It’s very “low-tech,” but it indicates speeds of 100, 300, 400, 480, 600, 720, 800, 900, 1200, 1800 and 2400 RPM quite accurately. (Reprinted from the Sherline Shop and Accessories Guide.)
  • Power Cord Conversion
    Sherline machines are supplied with a USA type plug but can be easily rewired to accept a European or UK type plug by attaching the wires using these instructions.